Dragons invite Russian prop for trial

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons have invited Russian tighthead prop Andrei Igretsov to join them for a trial, writes Chris Kirwan.

The 28-year-old front row forward, who has been capped 14 times, will head to Rodney Parade for the final few months of the season if he can secure a visa.

Igretsov has impressed his national boss Kingsley Jones, who is Dragons forwards coach, and will get the chance to experience a professional environment if he gets the green light from the immigration authorities.

It is highly unlikely, however, that the Slava Moscow prop will become a frontline player for the region next season even if he does well.

Igretsov would need time to become accustomed to a higher level of rugby, not to mention cultural changes, and an option may be to sign him up and see how he fares on permit for another club.

But another player getting the chance to develop his skills in the UK would be a boost for Jones' Russia, who are involved in the playoffs to earn a place in Wales, England and Australia's group at next year's World Cup.

The Dragons currently have tightheads Dan Way, Francisco Chaparro and Nathan Buck on their books but it is the experienced pair of former Scotland prop and ex-England front rower Duncan Bell that are in the matchday squad for tomorrow's clash with Connacht.

The duo signed on deals until the end of the season to cover an injury crisis, the former arriving on loan from Bristol and the latter being tempted out of retirement.

Director of rugby Lyn Jones has already signed up Leicester loosehead Boris Stankovich for next season and wants to add another seasoned tighthead to his roster.

Comments (7)

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2:25pm Fri 21 Mar 14

SWBorderer says...

You need to be very careful about inviting Russians in at the moment, we could end up with Corporation Road full of Russian tanks.
You need to be very careful about inviting Russians in at the moment, we could end up with Corporation Road full of Russian tanks. SWBorderer
  • Score: 7

7:36pm Fri 21 Mar 14

stevey says...

SWBorderer wrote:
You need to be very careful about inviting Russians in at the moment, we could end up with Corporation Road full of Russian tanks.
Don't think so, Russians are very selective thesedays.....but you never know....hopefully.
[quote][p][bold]SWBorderer[/bold] wrote: You need to be very careful about inviting Russians in at the moment, we could end up with Corporation Road full of Russian tanks.[/p][/quote]Don't think so, Russians are very selective thesedays.....but you never know....hopefully. stevey
  • Score: -1

12:45am Sat 22 Mar 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

A bit of a worry really, We've had the Russian head coach in the Dagons set up for almost a year now and it's just the first hint of. a Russian playing for the Dragons. Does this mean that we have not been able to get any decent props from elsewhere?
A bit of a worry really, We've had the Russian head coach in the Dagons set up for almost a year now and it's just the first hint of. a Russian playing for the Dragons. Does this mean that we have not been able to get any decent props from elsewhere? Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 2

6:31am Sat 22 Mar 14

East Newport Dave says...

I don't totally agree with the comments in this article. We need hard front row forwards who are born rather than made.
I don't totally agree with the comments in this article. We need hard front row forwards who are born rather than made. East Newport Dave
  • Score: 1

1:42pm Sat 22 Mar 14

SWBorderer says...

Is it a reflection on the demise of heavy manual industry that Gwent no longer produces the string of hard, uncompromising front row forwards we were once famous for, certainly in my day every Gwent club had someone who would try to rip you limb from limb at scrum time. Maybe it is that society has gone soft.
l have been surprised that it has taken so long to start looking to the east, would have thought there were a few likely candidates.
Is it a reflection on the demise of heavy manual industry that Gwent no longer produces the string of hard, uncompromising front row forwards we were once famous for, certainly in my day every Gwent club had someone who would try to rip you limb from limb at scrum time. Maybe it is that society has gone soft. l have been surprised that it has taken so long to start looking to the east, would have thought there were a few likely candidates. SWBorderer
  • Score: 1

5:40pm Sat 22 Mar 14

corpardguy says...

Good for starters, I always thought a Romanian would be a good fit as they used to be very useful in the scrum at international level, but if Kingsley thinks he's worth a look I for one am up for it. We don't need any more youngsters in the front five if we want to move into the mid table range and stay there.
Once again good professional coaching staff pays off.
You may not always get what you pay for, but you certainly never get what you dont pay for.
Good for starters, I always thought a Romanian would be a good fit as they used to be very useful in the scrum at international level, but if Kingsley thinks he's worth a look I for one am up for it. We don't need any more youngsters in the front five if we want to move into the mid table range and stay there. Once again good professional coaching staff pays off. You may not always get what you pay for, but you certainly never get what you dont pay for. corpardguy
  • Score: 3

9:21pm Sat 22 Mar 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

SWBorderer wrote:
Is it a reflection on the demise of heavy manual industry that Gwent no longer produces the string of hard, uncompromising front row forwards we were once famous for, certainly in my day every Gwent club had someone who would try to rip you limb from limb at scrum time. Maybe it is that society has gone soft.
l have been surprised that it has taken so long to start looking to the east, would have thought there were a few likely candidates.
No we still have hard uncompromising props in Wales and Gwent in particular, its the fact that we dont seem to pick them up early enough. These days they train very hard and get the toughness through playing hard games. The problem is its now a proffessional sport and its hard to commit rare resources on the off chance that a good one will come to the fore. We have some promising youngsters for the furure but the need is now. Hopefully he can get a work permit and will make the grade for a season or two while the youngsters do come up yo expectations. But why has it taken the best part of a year to even try and get a Russian or other east european????
[quote][p][bold]SWBorderer[/bold] wrote: Is it a reflection on the demise of heavy manual industry that Gwent no longer produces the string of hard, uncompromising front row forwards we were once famous for, certainly in my day every Gwent club had someone who would try to rip you limb from limb at scrum time. Maybe it is that society has gone soft. l have been surprised that it has taken so long to start looking to the east, would have thought there were a few likely candidates.[/p][/quote]No we still have hard uncompromising props in Wales and Gwent in particular, its the fact that we dont seem to pick them up early enough. These days they train very hard and get the toughness through playing hard games. The problem is its now a proffessional sport and its hard to commit rare resources on the off chance that a good one will come to the fore. We have some promising youngsters for the furure but the need is now. Hopefully he can get a work permit and will make the grade for a season or two while the youngsters do come up yo expectations. But why has it taken the best part of a year to even try and get a Russian or other east european???? Robert Shillabeer
  • Score: 0

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